It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Clearing the Air

Come hither little tree!
Dirt has decided that I need a hot house sooner than later, later would be the case if we were to wait on doing an attached one to the house.

So he has cleared the trees that block the perfect location for a hothouse, market shed combo building. Cleared the southern sky actually. Well clearing would be the better term because as this post will show, the big trees are down but the stumps, branches and logs remain to be taken care of.

It took a couple of days for all four trees to go down, Dirt still has his day job, but slow and steady and we'll get it done.

The first two he took down were relatively easy. They fell exactly where he needed them to fall, out into the pasture, sacrifice area actually, and not on the powerlines or buildings to the southeast of them.

The last two were a bit more tricky, the majority of their weight was on the wrong side, the side towards buildings, powerlines and big fat ugly trouble. He was advised to use a professional tree faller as doing it himself could be dangerous. Usually Dirt is a safety first sort of guy. Unless safety means money, then penny pinchin' wins out.

But well placed cuts, a firmly and accurately placed wedge,

and a chain attached to Orange Tractor (see the shinny new wheels?!) up to

the tree and the persuasion to fall in the direction Dirt wants them to is all but assured. So confident was Dirt that he left his truck parked in the direction the tree is not going to go!

One of the toughies down, one to go.

The last one isn't as bad as the one just before it, this one at least has some branches on the west side (right side of the picture). It has a nest in it that we have been terribly curious about for a long long time. You can see a glob out on the right side of the tree about a third of the way down.
We think it is an old raccoon nest as this was their favorite hang out, especially when the chickens were housed in the coop and runs that were directly under these trees. After way too many chickens had been pulled through run fencing we decided to get them out in a more open space and move the dogs over here from next to the house.
That was another accidental great timing move for the Vicks as about a month after the switcheroo the silver maple tree landed right across where the dog pens and dog houses had just been (not because we cut it down, an ice storm brought it down). But that's a story from six years ago, we'll tell all of it another time

So here goes the tree with the nest in it. Dirt has made his big slice on the side of the tree in the direction he wants it to drop. He is gauging where he wants to place the cut for the steel wedge to go.
The steel wedge in place, see it there with the red wagon behind it? It is above the directional slice on the opposite side of the tree. The cut it sits in is just a cut not a slice and it starts at the spot opposite the apex of the directional slice and angles downward. All of this is stratically done to get the tree to fall just where Dirt wants it to.

Once the wedge is set the cut is continued down to the inside corners of the wedge. Dirt works both sides, one at a time until contact between the cut and the back side of the slice is barely made.

Then he hops on Orange tractor (off to the right of the picture) and with a firm tug on the chain, the tree begins to go.

And there you have it, an accurate tree falling. Well sort of accurate, Dirt did say he missed his target spot by one foot, the tree grazed the fence post but no damage was done.

Bet, who was told by her father to keep an eye on the nest as the tree fell, immediately went over to check out what it looked like, well we all did but leaping like a gazelle in the forest got her there before her aged and trudging parents. And this is what the nest looked like. Hmmm very interesting.
Okay back to work.

As you can see, prior to cutting down the trees the fence had to be laid down and the animals fed out in the back of the pasture, now that all the loud cutting and falling is done and some yummy treats (in animal thinking anyway) is lying on the ground the trees must quickly be cut and moved off of the fencing and fence line. And the grazed post needs to be tapped back into its proper spot, thank goodness for wet mushy ground.

Ranch Hand thinks that was great fun and would like more trees cut down,

Well, that's it for big tree cutting, now we just have stumps and a few saplings to rip out and then the ground can be prepped for my hot house. Yippeee! And now my North Garden will have some more sun too! The irises are clapping for joy and the daisies are dancing and singing, can't you hear them?
I love trees, I'm a tree hugger from way back, but I love sunshine on my garden spots even more than that, sort of like Dirt is safety first, until it costs him money, and looky there, he did it, saved himself some bucks and successfully cut down trees, the only deaths were the intended ones and no one, not tree or fence or body was mangled.
Off to town, just wanted to give you a peak at all the work we have been up to.


A. Joy said...

Awesome job with the photos! Wow, a tree mid fall! Cool nest! Tree falling is fun - unless your dad has tied a rope around your mom's waist and told her to pull in the opposite direction the tree wants to fall. Uhhh, Dad - do you realize the tree out weighs mom by, well, quite a lot? It made for some memorable entertainment. Can't wait to see the hot house going up!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I would've been very nervous if that was my husband, but Dirt seems to know what he's doing. My husband has the same philosophy with money, and it can be a little stressful at times.
How exciting to get your hot house sooner than expected, and I can hear your daisies and iris from here.

Mrs. Mike said...

I do so enjoy seeing Dirt in my favorite ensemble. He's quit a fellow get that hot house job done!

basebell6 said...

YAY!! Guys will use any excuse to fire up the chainsaw, huh? LOL. I can't wait to see the final product!!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Lanny: That was a neat story and the results were perfect. You did a great job of capturing the progress. Thanks for sharing this big job with us.

Karen said...

That was a huge job! The scenery there is so beautiful. God bless you!

EV said...

I'm speechless. That was awesome - nice job!

Carol............. said...

WooooHoooo! What a great job!

"JUST DO IT"......and you guys are doing just that!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Your trees are so TALL too! They have to have lots of head room to fall..I am glad it went will enjoy the added sunshine and you can really grow now!! :)

KathyB. said...

Not only do you have clear air space for the garden and hot house, you have firewood for the coming winter!

You mean Dirt did not tie a rope around your waist and tell you to pull?

Kimberly said...

How cute is Bette in those yellow rain cover overalls with her curls flowing down her shoulders! Girls are so cute when utilitarian necessity meets beauty. My favorite is to mow the lawn in a dress with boots on.